To help struggling borrowers with little or no equity in their homes, the Bush administration would support GSE legislation that relaxes the mortgage insurance requirements on the loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has told Congress.Such a change would significantly increase the credit risk the government-sponsored enterprises take on, the Treasury secretary said, so it should only be done as part of a comprehensive GSE regulatory reform bill. "It would be irresponsible to expand GSEs' business without addressing the fundamental problems of their regulatory structure," Secretary Paulson told the House Financial Services Committee. Currently, the GSEs are required to have private mortgage insurance on loans they purchase with loan-to-value ratios greater than 80%. The secretary also said the administration would support a temporary increase in GSE loan limits to provide more liquidity in the jumbo market. But he emphasized that such an increase should only be implemented once Congress passes comprehensive GSE reform legislation.

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